A complete tour to discover Tokyo with its most evocative corners and main historic and religious buildings illustrating the culture and traditions of this magnificent capital that is both ancient and modern at the same time with an enchanting magical atmosphere.
What we will see
* Shinto Meiji shrine
* Imperial Palace
* Sakuradamon gate
* Nijyubashi bridge
* Kaminarimon: statues and red lantern
* Senso-ji temple in Asakusa
* Nakamise-dori street for souvenirs and Japanese specialities
What we will do
* We start our tour with the **Shinto Meiji shrine** and its large park located near the Harajuku station and dedicated to the souls of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken.
* The shrine was completed in 1920 thanks to over 100,000 volunteers and is testimony to the love of the Japanese people for their Emperor.
* In 1945, the shrine was destroyed by an air raid during the Second World War and was rebuilt in 1958. The shrine is divided into two areas: Naien or “main garden” is the area with the sacred buildings and also includes a museum displaying items that belonged to Emperor Meiji, and Gaien or “outer garden” which includes the gallery of portraits depicting key events in the life of the Emperor and his wife.
* The woodland is covered in an evergreen forest comprising 120,000 trees belonging to 365 different species sent by people from all over Japan to honour the memory of Emperor Meiji.
* We continue with Tokyo’s **Imperial Palace** (Kōkyo, literally “imperial residence”), once called Edo castle (Edo is the old name of Tokyo), residence of the shōgun and currently main residence of the Emperor of Japan. The Palace is still surrounded by the original moat and imposing gates and ancient watchtowers can still be seen along the walls.
* It covers a vast area inside a park in the Chiyoda district neat Tokyo station and comprises of numerous buildings including the main palace (Kyuden), the private residences of the Imperial family, an archive, a museum and the administrative offices.
* We then enter the park where we can admire the **Sakuradamon gate** and the **Nijyubashi bridge**, an elegant two-arch bridge leading to the main entrance.
* We move on towards the **Kaminarimon ** (“thunder gate”), an impressive gate which holds the largest **red paper lantern** in Japan. The Kaminarimon is the outermost of two large gates leading to the **Sensi-ji temple in Asakusa** dedicated to the Buddhist goddess Kannon, who is very popular in Japan and incarnates compassion. With its millenary history, the Senso-ji temple represents the most important and ancient in the city and is the most popular tourist sight.
* The Kaminarimon is flanked by **two statues** - one represents Fujin, the god of wind, while the other is Raijin, the god of thunder (which gives the gate its name, i.e. “Furaijin-mon”, the “gate of thunder”). These two deities have always been considered the protectors of the temple, still one of the main sights in Tokyo.
* The Kaminarimon gate marks the start of the **Nakamise-dori street**, a 250 metre long road with 89 shops where we can find all kinds of goods: souvenirs, hair accessories, dolls, lucky charms, handicrafts, postcards, sweets and typical food. This ancient market is the perfect place to **buy souvenirs** and try a few delicious **Japanese delicacies**.